return from travels & vegfest photos

Alright! I’ve spent the past weekend resting, doing laundry, and catching up with my cats after two weeks traveling on the West Coast for my mysterious day job.  As much as I usually think Portland is the bees knees, and as much as I complain about having a day job, I’m grateful for my employment and the bonus opportunities to explore other cities (and play travel writer). Back to my point and purpose here – I was in town for just over 24 hours halfway between my journeys north and south, which fortunately, allowed me to attend Portland’s annual VegFest. I may not have had time to experience every single exhibitor booth or attend any glorious talks, but I did get to see countless smiling veg-faces and proudly table for Vegan Iron Chef’s big public, pin-dispensing debut.

Most of these photos were taken as Saturday was ending. Pretend people aren’t falling asleep at their booths and that there’s a never-ending stream of veg-happy and veg-curious folks, because there was!

Photo essay time:

My favorite on the show floor (you can’t deny it was mostly a trade show out there, and I say that fondly): So Delicious.

I can’t really think of any flashy new veg products I hadn’t seen before or that blew me away, so I’ll call my favorite as I see it – So Delicious Coconut Creamer. And well, they were one of a couple of vendors offering complimentary coffee, and as I was there all day with my own mug, I happily drank it. On top of that, I have a fond memory of my friend Melissa bringing me one of their coconut ice cream sandwiches…

Deanna works the NW Veg table. She does so much for the vegan community and it clearly loves her back.

Here’s dear, smiling Wendy: VegFest organizer and author of the Veg Food & Fit blog.  She’s tabling with a friend for her recent cookbook release, Scatter Vegan Sweets.

What to wear when you’re veg…besides Herbivore, of course.

The German Viana line. In the past, I found these very hit or miss for my taste buds – but after sampling most of them, I really dug the Doner Kebap and Veggie Cevapici.

Supreme Master:  Never disappointing. Just tired. We had the sweetest reporter from their channel, Youping, come with a small team to Vegan Iron Chef last year.

Lundberg: Where I learned that according to CNN’s Health reporters, Black Rice could be the new Brown Rice. Noted.

Chicago Soy Dairy bros. Mozzarella teese, I got your back.

Fair Trade Theo Chocolate Samples

Another favorite of the day – Soy Feta at Heidi Ho’s Organic Vegan Cheeses. Locally made & currently available at Jazzkats Coffee Bar.  They graciously donated a fruit & hazelnut cheese spread to a Portland talk my friend & fellow blogger Janessa (with a new domain!) and I did last month for Try Vegan Week.

VegFest super announcer and staple, bodybuilder and author, Robert Cheeke, signs those autographs

Hold onto your hearts, you crazy Daiya heads – Amy’s  Vegan Mac & Cheese.  I finally tried it and have to give a big ol’ Pass, but I get convenience. I get novelty.

Pull yourself together! One more Daiya shot to go… Now this pizza? I really get it.

Thai and True’s distributor’s stand tied with Chicago Soy Dairy for the stand I supported the most, financially. I picked up 4 small tubes of teese (on sale 2 for $5 – it really bothers me that I can only get teese at one store in town, albeit the great Food Fight!) and restocked on Yellow and Massaman curry paste. Locally made & VEGAN.

Don’t buy curry paste from a can. This is so much better (or make it!)

Another popular neighbor, naturally:

Portland <3 Kombucha

I overheard such interesting, varying comments from the folks stopping by the Gardein table. What do y’all think?

Out to Pasture Sanctuary.

I  know these are *just beans* , but they really are good beans! The Better Bean Company.

A big bowl of spices at the CuisineMentor table.

Photo evidence of the crowds, and that guy on the left eating.

Food vendors. Who’s been to Yummy Tummy? I keep hearing such positive things!

Red & Black, my favorite anarchist cafe-runners, tabled on Saturday.

Sengetera, selling Ethiopian veggie combos.

My girls at the Vegan Iron Chef table:

Day Over! Back to the real job.

Off to work, work, beaches, work, Costa Mesa, and a few days vacation for my first time in Los Angeles after this.

I have a geeky Stumptown Vegans review of this cafe below coming soon….

Soy Latte Round Up

You know what it takes for the posting of these examinations? Days that don’t belong in june, a return to japanese genmaicha and african rooibos, and another mild vow of cutting back on coffee. I don’t drink it daily, but goddamn So Delicious Coconut Creamer is dreamy, and I certainly broke my 1-2 soy lattes-a-week vow during the final past weeks of preparation for Vegan Iron Chef.

Here are some recent highlights in caffeination, including a stop at a sharp new favorite downtown  - Public Domain, that evolved from Portland Coffeehouse. It is remarkable how they’ve elevated! The round up completes with a summer requirement: iced soy lattes. I’ll be on the search for Portland’s best as it warms up – any recs?

Soy Latte Round Up: Public Domain

Soy Latte Round Up: Barista II. You will never, ever go wrong here. The impressive NE location just started serving beer on tap, too.

Soy Latte Round Up: Artemis Cafe, vegan-friendly, organic & sustainable cafe located on the corner of SE 12th and Division that has so much awesome to offer.

Soy Latte Round Up: Haven Coffee. The bleakest of the round up, admittedly, but I like this shop.

Green Tea Matcha Latte: Little T American Baker - I think this is magic.

Soy Latte Round Up: Public Domain (nearly positive, since this is taken in Pioneer Square)

And the beckoning of iced lattes…

Soy Latte Round Up: Raspberry Iced Latte from South East Grind - such an indulgent wonder. This place is a little out of my way, but I like it. It's nice to know it exists if I ever want good coffee at 2am.

Soy Latte Round Up: Stumptown, Ash

Soy Latte Round Up: Stumptown, SW 3rd - this was just everything I wanted, sipped as I almost shed a tear finishing Solar by Ian McEwan.

Round Up: This time, it's individually dripped Columbia Meta Lejanias single origin coffee from Cafe Velo. Beans from Heart.

Cafe Velo

Outside Cafe Velo. I really like their small but intriguing Mediterranean menu, and adore their coffee options, but it's a bit weird to see folks out flank steak when you're on a coffee break. I still intend to try the housemade falafel and flatbread.